Excessive charges for HMO damage?

by Readers Question

13:49 PM, 11th April 2019
About A year ago

Excessive charges for HMO damage?

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Excessive charges for HMO damage?

I was guarantor for my son when he had a room in a shared house. He caused some damage to the room so when he left, the landlord sent me a bill. However he has charged over and above the cost of replacement furniture, and labour costs. (£800 to paint a bedroom ) total was £1500.

I paid half, which to my mind is still more than the actual costs.

He has now threatened to take me to court. I am confident that the amount I paid covers the cost of furniture and labour.

My question is, will a court agree that he can charge me whatever he wants?
If a hearing goes in my favour, will I have any court costs? He is not a private landlord but is a letting agency.

Many thanks



Rob Crawford

10:18 AM, 13th April 2019
About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by James Barnes at 11/04/2019 - 16:22
...maybe the market suggests they could have had a tenant lined up for back-to-back tenancies! The problem with damaged rooms/properties is that they are difficult to let. Why should the landlord loose out? Morag, maybe your son needs educating and you come to some payback arrangement!

Paul Tarry

17:51 PM, 13th April 2019
About A year ago

The first problem is the vague description of the damage and style of furniture
Was it the walls just needed painting? did they need several coats due to the damage? was a plasterer required before painting?
was the ceiling damaged? was the gloss damaged?,
If a plasterer was required that's £150.00 a day plus materials, and if plasterboard needed to be disposed of that's £3.00 a small bag at our tip plus the time to take it there
painting single coat 4 walls £250.00, so without full knowledge we are up to between £400 and £600.00 including vat, without additional costs for organising contractors, meeting for quotes, sorting keys, and payments when finished not a lot left out of £800.00 if the gloss or/and ceiling was damaged £800.00 is cheap.
The damaged furniture had to be disposed of (two people to carry down stairs, tipped and replaced and we have £700.00 inc all fees and time, such as "delivery will be between 8 and 12.30, or 1 and 6 who's waiting in for that delivery?
Maybe sit down with your son and go through what the costs really were/are and what his actions resulted in for everyone else
Or of course he/you could have sorted it out before leaving !
Give us more information and my lack of sympathy may reduce


11:15 AM, 16th April 2019
About A year ago

This is entirely what the deposit protection schemes are designed for. As long as the landlord has before and after evidence and can support his charges then he is being fair and I'm afraid that your son will be liable. It is worth noting that proof is very hard to provide as it can usually be disputed (are the photographs dated for instance?). If your son has his own before and after photographs then this will help the facts of the case. The charges for decorating sound excessive to me, although it is true that the time involved in logging damage and providing evidence is costly. I have to pay a team of staff in between student changeovers to inspect for damage, log and photograph it all. It is a huge job, especially where there has been damage as it will need re-inventorying when it has been put back to the original condition. I normally charge £30 all-in for a wall that need redecorating if it is only another coat of emulsion. This area of landlord/tenant relations is the hardest for both parties. I have had tenants who have concealed evidential photographs from their parents who have argued vehemently with me - until I sent a second set of photographs and then I didn't hear from them again. Good luck and don't be afraid to stand up for fair treatment. Good landlords would expect that.

Rob Crawford

22:58 PM, 16th April 2019
About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Dancinglandlord at 16/04/2019 - 11:15
A professional decorator rate is circa. £300 per room. For £30 per wall, I can only assume this is diy so no labour charge.

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